By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Charles Capetanakis, a lawyer and education advocate from Bay Ridge who is a partner in the law firm Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, will be the guest of honor at the Hellenic Lawyers Association’s 25th Annual Dinner-Dance at the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan on Nov. 15. Capetanakis will receive the Attorney of the Year Award from the association.
“Charles will receive their 2013 Attorney of the Year Award for his outstanding legal work, strong commitment to public service and founder of the Hellenic Classical Charter School in Brooklyn,” Sid Davidoff, a senior partner in the law firm, wrote in an email to reporters. Davidoff served as an administrative assistant to mayor John Lindsay in the 1960s.
Capetanakis, a Greek-American, has a long history of activism in education. He is the founder and chairman of the board of directors at the Hellenic Classical Charter School, located at 646 Fifth Ave. in Brooklyn. According to its mission statement, the school supplements its core curriculum instruction with the study of Greek and Latin, as well as the Socratic method of questioning.
Capetanakis served on Community School Board 20 from 1993 to 2000 during the last years of decentralization when school boards wielded enormous power and were able to hire school superintendents and principals and had a strong say in the curriculum taught in classrooms. District 20 covers public schools in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and parts of Bensonhurst, Sunset Park, and Borough Park.
Capetanakis was also active for many years in the Republican Party in Brooklyn as an advisor and fundraiser for candidates.
In his work at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, his areas of practice include real estate and estate laws, civil and white collar criminal litigation and securities arbitrations and investigations.
Capetanakis earned a bachelor’s degree from New York University where he was president of the student body. He earned his law degree from the Fordham University School of Law, where he was a member of the Moot Court Board and the Environmental Law Report.
From 1989 to 1991, Capetanakis served as a law clerk to the Judge Jose A. Gonzalez, Jr., who is now senior United States district court judge for the Southern District of Florida.
Capetanakis has served the city and state governments in numerous capacities over the years. In 2001, then-governor George Pataki nominated Capetanakis as a member of the New York State Project Finance Agency. In 2003, he was elevated to vice-chairman of the agency. In 2002, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Capetanakis as a commissioner to the New York City Redistricting Commission.
Pataki nominated him to the New York State Municipal Bond Bank Agency and Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation in 2005.
Capetanakis and his wife Dena live in Bay Ridge with their four sons.